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Cancer MSc

The Cancer MSc reflects the depth and breadth of research interests, from basic science to translational medicine, within the UCL Cancer Institute. The programme, taught by research scientists and academic clinicians, provides students with an in-depth look at the biology behind the disease processes which lead to cancer.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 11 August 2020
Notification
Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Applications for 2021/22 entry will open later in the year.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£15,050 (FT)
Overseas:
£29,260 (FT)


Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website.

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma and a PG Certificate with fees set accordingly.
Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university in a relevant discipline such as life sciences or medicine or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

About this degree

This programme offers a foundation in understanding cancer as a disease process and its associated therapies. Students learn about the approaches taken to predict, detect, monitor and treat cancer, alongside the cutting-edge research methods and techniques used to advance our understanding of this disease and design better treatment strategies.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (30 credits each) providing a foundation in cancer biology and cancer therapeutics, a 30 credit specialist module exploring cancer and the immune system, a 15 credit research skills module and a 15 credit optional module. Following the taught modules you will undertake a 60 credit research project.

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits, full-time nine months) is offered.

A Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits, full-time 15 weeks) is offered.

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MSc in Cancer. Upon successful completion of 120 credits, you will be awarded a PG Dip in Cancer. Upon successful completion of 60 credits, you will be awarded a PG Cert in Cancer.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.

Core modules

You will study the following two core modules.

  • Basic Biology and Cancer Genetics
  • Cancer Therapeutics

Specialist modules

You will study the specialist modules "Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy" and "Cancer Research Proposal". You will choose either "Cancer Clinical Trials" or "Behavioural Science and Cancer" as an option module.

  • Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy
  • Cancer Research Proposal
  • Cancer Clinical Trials (optional module)
  • Behavioural Science and Cancer (optional module)
Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.

Dissertation/research project

You will undertake a 60-credit laboratory project, clinical data project or systems biology/informatics project, which culminates in a 10,000–12,000 word dissertation and an oral research presentation.

Teaching and learning

Students develop their knowledge and understanding of cancer through lectures, self-study, database mining, laboratory based practicals, clinical trial evaluations, research training, assigned reading and self-learning. Each taught module is assessed by an unseen written examination, presentation and/or coursework. The research project is assessed by the dissertation and oral presentation.

The MSc Cancer programme is a full-time degree course, and teaching may be scheduled throughout the working week. During the core and specialist modules, a typical week might involve around 15 hours of lectures and tutorials over three working days, however this will vary between weeks and between different modules. The remainder of the time is intended for students to undertake independent study. During the research project, students will typically attend their research group full-time.

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

Additional costs

Students are expected to pay for the printing and soft binding (usually spiral/comb binding) of two copies of their research project dissertations.

Although the majority of the teaching is conducted in the main UCL Bloomsbury campus, you may on occasion have to travel to other sites (e.g. Royal Free Hospital) for some activities. These other sites are all expected to be local within London, and therefore any additional travel costs that you may have to pay would be expected to be low. The purchase of core textbooks is recommended but is not a requirement for the programme. You may find it useful to have your own laptop or desktop computer, but this is not a programme requirement and UCL students can access computers in the libraries or student learning areas around the campus.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Funding

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Careers

The knowledge and skills developed will be suitable for those contemplating a PhD or medical studies in cancer, as well as those individuals interested in a career in an industrial or healthcare setting.

Employability

Skills include critical evaluation of scientific literature, experimental planning and design, interpretation of data and results, presentation/public speaking skills, time management, working with a team, working independently and writing for various audiences.

Why study this degree at UCL?

UCL is one of Europe's largest and most productive centres of biomedical science, with an international reputation for leading basic, translational and clinical cancer research.

The UCL Cancer Institute brings together scientists from various disciplines to synergise multidisciplinary research into cancer. Our particular areas of expertise include: the molecular pathology of cancer, signalling pathways in cancer, epigenetic changes in cancer, bioinformatic analysis of cancer genomics and tumour heterogeneity, targeted drug design and antibody-directed therapeis, stem cell therapy and cancer immunotherapy, early phase clinical trials, and national and international clinical trials in solid tumours and blood cancers.

Department: Cancer Institute

What our students and staff say

Staff view

"In addition to UCL and UCL Hospitals, London in general has all you need in terms of basic science and resources as well as clinical oncologists who want to team up with basic scientists to develop potent translational programs in cancer, autoimmunity, genetic diseases and so on."

Dr Sergio Quezada

Programmes in the Faculty of Medical Sciences and in the Master’s programmes in Cancer
Group Leader
Student view

"I came to UCL because only two universities in Germany offer any study relating purely to cancer biology and these are within bigger programmes (e.g. biomedical sciences or cancer). But here at UCL there is a dedicated programme where students can learn about cancer biology and therapy."

Laura Wisnewski

Cancer MSc

Application and next steps

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

The programme is designed for those with qualifications in life sciences, scientists, clinicians, and other healthcare professionals including individuals from the pharmaceutical and biotech industries. The knowledge and transferable skills developed are suitable for those in an industrial or healthcare setting, and for students contemplating further PhD or medical studies.

Application deadlines

All applicants
11 August 2020

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study this programme at graduate level
  • why you want to study this programme at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 13 August 2020